It is no secret that I have extreme levels of anxiety. Alas. I get by on the day to day but there is a bonafide way to make me feel in control of my environment. And this, my friends, is tidying up.
Typically, my pattern is that I will not care too much about the clothes I’ve tossed onto our bedroom floor or the stray few hairs on the sink from the weekly occurrence of me brushing my hair. (It’s curly, okay…. curly hair doesn’t need to be brushed as much. At least mine doesn’t). And then, all of a sudden, I CARE SO MUCH. Hence our room or apartment or wherever has two modes: 1) my stuff is pretty messy or 2) my stuff is perfectly put away and I’ve scrubbed the bathroom top to bottom. And, if you are of this enlightened inclination, this doesn’t have anything to do with gender roles or expectations in my house. Mike is helpful with housework and certainly doesn’t expect me to do it all. However, I am the person in our relationship who tends to like things tidier, so it all pans out. If I suddenly want everything put away and not a stray sock on the floor, I am happy to pick it up.
Does anyone else feel this way? I feel like I can exhale after finally tiding up, dusting, vacuuming, etc. Maybe this is because one of the reasons things go by the wayside that would prefer to keep appropriately cleaned up (like the sweatshirt I take off or my pj’s etc. etc.) is because I am particularly busy during that time. Then, when I am not running in a deep panic, I clean up and feel generally relieved about my current state of affairs.
In an attempt to find some middle ground, I want to try to work a few things into my daily routine that keep our space from becoming out of control. Here are a few things I have found helpful:
- Before bed, clean up the kitchen. Wipe down counters, make sure all dishes are loaded and start the dishwasher. Wipe up spills on the stove. Sweep. Feel joyful that when you come downstairs in the morning, you will be greeted by a clean kitchen.
- Make the bed in the morning. We are still working on this one. It’s difficult because Sam the dog likes to paw around in the sheets, etc. so bed making is a “strip the bed and remake it” activity every morning. Gone are the days when we could throw the sheet and comforter up from the foot of the bed and it looked decent. Thank you, small Boston Terrier, for throwing our sheet on the floor and moving the comforter 90 degrees every night without fail.
- Put your clothes either into the drawer from whence they came or the hamper when you take them off. WHY IS THIS SUCH A STRUGGLE?! Flat spaces and chairs in bedrooms should be banned. We all know clothing with likely pile up on them. Let’s just end the charade. (But how?!)
- Sprinkle baking soda everywhere and roll in it for good luck. (This isn’t actually a thing but it probably could be. Cheap, full body microdermabrasion, anyone?!)
Are there any small, daily things people could recommend to help me stop with the random bouts of manic cleaning?